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Help! My Senior Dog Groans a Lot

Old black dog with a graying face laying on a wooden dock

Does your dog sigh or make strange noises while he/she is lying down to rest? If your generally quiet dog has suddenly become loud, various medical reasons could be responsible. However, it’s not always the case and you must consult a veterinarian to find out the exact problem. Read on to know why your senior dog groans a lot and learn what you can do about it.

Why Does My Senior Dog Groan a Lot?

Have you observed your dog groaning a lot more than usual? If yes, it could be a sign of a serious medical condition that will require professional care. Although it is understandable that certain dog breeds are chattier than others, it is evident when your less noisy dog becomes more vocal. When you don’t know what’s causing your dog’s moaning, it may be incredibly distressing.

Even if you’ve always had a chatty dog, they may not be speaking as much as they are doing now. It could be the fatigue from routine chores or something more serious is causing this change. Dog groaning is always something to be aware of and we must pay attention to these signs because dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong with them. The following are some reasons that can make your senior dog groan a lot.


Human hand laying on top of the head of a brown dog laying on a bed.

Panosteitis is more frequent in puppies and developing dogs. However, it can also affect geriatric dogs. Panosteitis is commonly referred to as a dog’s growing pains, but it is an extremely painful bone developing disorder.

This fast bone development syndrome is very painful and necessitates minimal exertion and the use of pain relievers. While it appears to be more prevalent in developing puppies, the aetiologia of Panosteitis is yet unknown. A limp leg can be used to make an initial diagnosis, but a high white blood cell count, high fevers, and groaning can help to confirm it. Great Danes, German Shepherds, and other large dog breeds are more likely to develop Panosteitis and have recurrences.


Senior beagle laying on a dark background

Ascites are just a buildup of fluid in your dog’s abdomen. Abdominal effusion is another name for this illness. The groaning and grumbling, like several other health issues, is the least concerning sign of this disease. However, it is a useful indicator that could help with the diagnosis.

Ascites is a pretty common condition, and it’s most likely because your dog groans when he settles in for the night. Other symptoms of this unpleasant predicament include, vomiting and difficulties in breathing, particularly for dogs with large bellies.

Decreasing Cognitive Function

Chihuahua eating from a green dog bowl

While it takes time to develop and break bad habits, it can be accelerated for various reasons. You may believe that elderly dogs are less likely to have behavioral problems, but this is not the case. As dogs become older, their cognitive faculties deteriorate, making it more difficult for them to recall, see, or hear things. This can be very disturbing for your poor old pup and can cause a lot of anxiety or hostility.

Genetic Background

Senior man hugging his brown dog while it licks his face

Some dog breeds are louder than others and will make a lot of noise even if everything’s fine. When they are content, lying down to rest, or being petted and loved on, they typically make groaning, moaning, and other little noises.


Dog and child sitting on an upside down boat on the shore

When dogs need attention from their owners, they will whine, yelp, moan and groan until they receive it. Ignoring their demands might make them more stubborn and strong-willed dogs. This will make these noises incessantly until they obtain the attention they desire.

What to Do if My Senior Dog Groans a Lot?

Small brown dog laying on a dog bed

The very first thing that you need to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. He/she will try to figure out what’s causing the groaning by asking you a series of questions. This will help him/her to learn about the behavioral change and determine its cause.

Your veterinarian may want to do a few laboratory tests to rule out any health issues. Before doing any tests, he/she will evaluate their age and previous health difficulties to get a clearer picture. Some simple steps that you can take if your senior dog groans a lot are discussed below.

Feed a Balanced Diet

Yellow lab standing next to raised dog bowls

Senior dogs require a balanced diet and must have appropriate portions of proteins, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Older dogs become weak and become more prone to several diseases due to their weak immunity. A healthy diet will help them to maintain a good defense system so that they could fight against different problems.

Provide Regular Exercise

Senior yellow lab sitting on a beach

Senior dogs become lethargic and do not like to walk long distances. However, they still need regular exercise to keep their bodies active and healthy. It will ensure that their joints and muscles are in motion and not feeling too stiff or sore.

Use Calcium Supplements

Calcium Supplements on a blue background

Some senior dogs become deficient in calcium and iron as they grow old. It results in aching muscles and bones and it can be the reason for your pup’s excessive groaning. If that’s the case, calcium supplements offer a perfect solution for this problem. You can also make dietary changes to add some more iron to your canine’s meal.

Spend Time with Them

man sitting on a couch, leaning forward, and petting his golden retriever

Just like old people, senior dogs also need a lot of attention and care. Long spells of loneliness can cause boredom and anxiety, which will make them groan a lot. Hence, it’s imperative to spend some quality time with your pooch. For example, you can schedule an interactive play session and give them healthy treats. You can also take them on a morning walk to give them physical as well as emotional stimulation.

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